PDA News – New Belkin Products, Wave of PalmSource News, SDIO Now! Adds Members, More…

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Belkin has a new IR PDA keyboard coming to market at a great price!

On April 20th Belkin will begin shipping a new IR keyboard that will go right after Pocketop to compete for the wireless keyboard market. The key here is the price though. The MSRP os $60, which is almost half the price of its competitor. One might ask, Why not Bluetooth? But at this price, IR is still a solid offering and works with virtaully any PDA, where the Bluetooth market is much smaller. More details from the release:

The Belkin Wireless PDA Keyboard allows users to enter data wirelessly to their PDA by using dual-beam infrared technology. It features quick-start keyboard application keys, generous key spacing, and comfortable key travel. And, since the operation of the keyboard is based on universal infrared technology, the Keyboard is compatible with many of today’s Pocket PC and Palm devices (compatibility with future PDA devices are ensured through driver updates available on the Belkin website).

Compatible with following PDAs:

  • HP iPAQ 3800/3900/5400 series handhelds
  • Toshiba e330/e335/e740
  • Dell Axim
  • Palm Tungsten T, m130, i705, and m500 series handhelds
  • Sony CLI T/SL/SJ/NR/NX/NZ series handhelds

Belkin is also adding a new multi-function stylus that will begin shipping this week. The Quadra 4-in-1 Pen allows users to write, light, input, and point with absolute precision. It includes a bright LED beam that lights up a user’s reading material virtually anywhere, a laser pointer with a 500-yard laser emission range, a ballpoint pen with a quick, sturdy propel-and-retract mechanism, and a PDA stylus with a plastic tip for smooth navigation on the user’s PDA. Its MSRP is $30. Click here for an image of the pen.

PalmSource was a buzy bee today at the CTIA with a host of new announcements

PalmSource Joins CTIA and Announces New Wireless Services

PalmSource joined the CTIA today, which shows they are devoted to wireless. To prove it, PalmSource struck a deal with QUALCOMM to allow over-the-air delivery of Palm OS applications to wireless Palm OS devices using QUALCOMM’s BREW Distribution System (BDS).

“We look forward to collaborating with PalmSource to extend the unparalleled application distribution, billing and payment capabilities of the BREW Distribution System to the Palm OS platform,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, president of QUALCOMM Wireless & Internet Group. “With the BDS as the mechanism to wirelessly deliver Palm OS applications to consumers and enterprises, Palm Powered smartphone and handheld users will no longer be tied to their desktop when they want to add functionality to their devices.”

The potential here is to be able to download a new software or file over your wireless connection, which also handles billing and reporting back to the wireless carriers. This type of delivery seems best suited for eBooks and other impulse buys, but I like the direction.

PalmSource Ties in to VPN Software

PalmSource has inked a deal with Spontaneous Technology to co-market software that enables Palm OS PDA users to connect to corporate computing networks wirelessly. This combination will give enterprise customers access to corporate applications and enterprise data behind the firewall from any wireless Palm Powered device anywhere at any time through a mobile operator’s 2.5G/3G wide area data network. Because any Palm OS application that syncs can work with sVPN, wireless access can be rolled out quickly and easily. sVPN will be available in Palm OS supported languages for those companies that choose to deploy this solution to employees around the globe.

“Enabling secure HotSync for wireless users will provide mobile operators opportunities to generate new business with enterprise customers,” said Albert Chu, vice president of business development, PalmSource. “Enterprise customers will experience an increase in productivity by being able to wirelessly and securely access mission-critical enterprise data via smartphones and other mobile devices. With over 25 million Palm Powered devices sold and 59 percent enterprise market share, this is also a compelling way for operators to enhance the wireless experience of Palm Powered enterprise users.”

Led by bSQUARE, SDIO Now! trys to help SDIO devices get to market faster

Toshiba and Seiko have both joined the SDIO Now! program. Current users of this standard include the iPAQ h3900 series Pocket PC’s and the Samsung i700 Pocket PC Phone Edition.

BSQUARE’s SDIO Now! program has quickened the pace of adoption of Secure Digital technology because it helps ensure interoperability across various products from different vendors,” said Howard Gefen, director for the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. “The new Windows Powered Pocket PC products from Samsung and HP are great examples of how SDIO Now! technology can be utilized to expand functionality and offer our mutual customers new mobile-friendly peripheral and accessory options.”

Hopefully this means more devices will support SDIO and more SD peripherals will come to market as a result. Learn more about SDIO Now! at the bSQUARE site.

AOL and Danger tighten relationship

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Danger announced Monday at the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association conference in New Orleans an agreement with America Online to give AOL subscribers wireless access to their e-mail accounts via devices running Danger’s software and services. T-Mobile’s Sidekick device, which uses Danger’s software, comes with AOL Instant Messenger, and use of the feature is growing rapidly, according to Danger CEO Hank Nothhaft. News.com has the full report…

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